By Li-Young Lee
So we're dust. In the meantime, my wife and I
make the bed. Holding opposite edges of the sheet,
we raise it, billowing, then pull it tight,
measuring by eye as it falls into alignment
between us. We tug, fold, tuck. And if I'm lucky,
she'll remember a recent dream and tell me.
One day we'll lie down and not get up.
One day, all we guard will be surrendered.
Until then, we'll go on learning to recognize
what we love, and what it takes
to tend what isn't for our having.
So often, fear has led me
to abandon what I know I must relinquish
in time. But for the moment,
I'll listen to her dream,
and she to mine, our mutual hearing calling
more and more detail into the light
of a joint and fragile keeping.
From "Absence, Opera, Beans, Dreams", a selection of verse from new collections published in The Washington Post Book World's poetry issue the week of April 20th. This one is from Behind My Eyes, published by Norton.
Once again I have no exciting news of my own so I'll just link to stuff I was reading today (somewhere in the world there must be something people are talking about besides celebrity indiscretions, political candidate antics, consequences of the NFL draft and the fate of the Grand Duchess Anastasia but I couldn't find it). I am ever in Hawaii, I want to go to Surfing Goat Dairy where people get to feed and milk the goats and sample 20 different kind of cheeses made there. And speaking of animals, I was reading about the escaped pig balloon and Paul says the funny thing is that it isn't the first time something like this happened -- when Pink Floyd shot the original Animals album cover with the pig flying by Battersea Power Station, the pig broke free and eventually landed in a field near Canterbury. And I'm sorry, but when I first read about the Greek "take back 'lesbian'" lawsuit, I thought at first it was a joke by The Onion and when I found out it was for real, I kept snickering rather than being indignant.
This last photo is not National Arboretum koi, obviously, but the view of the orchid display in the visitor's center.
Actually I don't need to get going on Clinton, Obama and the idiocy that is the Democratic Party at present because Boston Legal did it for me...and the side story was about cloned beef on the market, brought by a woman with whom Denny falls instantly in love and rides horses. So it was a really divine hour of television. Amidst a discussion of the show's move to Wednesday and not being sure whether it will be back next year, a woman comes in wanting a lawyer to deal with the FDA signing off on cloned meat. She's a rancher, Sunny Field, of Sunnyfield Farms, and Denny asks her to marry him before she's finished explaining her issues with "the mad cows in charge of the asylum." Denny begs Carl to work on the case with him because he needs a heavy hitter for the consumer advocate issues while Denny is himself busy hitting on Sunny.
Alan is busy with Shirley, who wants to sue her nephew because he's going to vote for Obama. When Alan says he believes the nephew has that right, Shirley explains that Mitchie is a delegate whose district -- and indeed whose state -- voted for Clinton, but it's a dirty party secret that delegates don't have to vote for the candidate to whom they are pledged. Mitchie insists that it's a duty but not an obligation, and at 22 feels certain that Obama is the right choice, which Alan recognizes as within party rules...unless they sue the Democratic Party. They get the Not Gay judge, and Wolf Blitzkrieg of CCN has a field day trying to interview them.
Meanwhile Carl and Denny get the jibber-jabber judge, who asks how they can be suing Food and Drugs. Carl must explain that it's the FDA they want to sue, and after Sunny flirts with him, she explains that the FDA doesn't even require cloned food to be labeled so there's no way for the public to avoid it even though it hasn't been properly studied to see if it's healthy. She talks high levels of hormones in surrogate mothers, massive doses of antibiotics, pharmaceuticals in the human food supply. In private, Denny tells her how much he's infatuated, but Sunny warns him that she treats men like horses: "I ride 'em hard and I turn 'em out." Though Alan thinks he's out of his mind to want to commit after one date, Denny is certain that she's The One.
Shirley testifies that while the Democratic Party rules may technically allow pledged delegates to vote for someone else, it's not what the party advertises will happen when it asks voters to participate in primaries. In private, she and Alan have a shouting match -- he's annoyed that she really brought this case out of support for Hillary, she's furious he brings up big party politics and dynasties to support Barack -- but they end up agreeing that the system is rotten no matter which candidate one prefers. Mitchie parodies Bill Clinton on stand and quotes Obama and then Dean, making Alan say that the boy sounds like the Little Engine That Could and wonders what he'd think if delegates voting their conscience chose Kucinich. The Democrats explain that delegates are necessary to stop the popular vote from allowing someone silly like a comedian to get the nomination, but Alan points out that currently it's big business picking the candidates. The judge agrees that the nomination process is not democratic -- "This is how we ended up with Bush" -- but denies Alan's motion.
Denny and Sunny ride horses together, and despite a serious setback -- Sunny says cows shun animals that have Mad Cow, then furrows her brow when her entire herd flees from Denny, who tells Alan how devastating it is to be diagnosed by a fellow cow -- Denny asks her to marry him. Carl trounces the FDA lawyer, naming piles of FDA-approved supplements that caused fatal problems and citing all the dangerous drugs that had to be removed from the market, but the jibber-jabber judge keeps changing his ruling so that Denny isn't sure whether he won or not when Sunny comes to give him her answer. She wants to marry Denny, but she has bought a farm in Montana and wants him to move there with her. Crushed, Denny admits that there's someone else, "my best friend," and refuses to uproot his life away from Alan.
On the balcony, Alan says he's sorry but Denny knows that he's really relieved and forgives him when Alan explains all his own issues with finding love. "While many people embrace the promise of tomorrow, too few celebrate the joy of now, and nobody does that like Denny Crane," says Alan. Denny replies that when you have Mad Cow, now gets high priority, especially when you're sitting on the balcony sipping scotch with your best friend. They drink to now. That's right -- Denny broke up with The One for Alan. Heh. Happy Beltane!